subway2“Niemann navigates New York’s subterranean system in this playful love letter to public transportation. Readers follow two children and their father, pictured as transit map-style stick figures, who spend a rainy day exploring routes. “Riding the A requires some patience/ if you plan to visit all forty-four stations,” they advise. The trains occasionally acquire some light personification (“The 7 is on his way to meet… / his friends at Times Square, 42nd Street!”); after the F and G lines separate at Bergen Street, “The G says, ‘Don’t cry. I will meet you/ again at Roosevelt Avenue!”). The tone is largely celebratory– rate hikes and construction don’t come up–but Niemann finds pleasure in unexpected places, too (“There are plenty of critters on the tracks of the J/ enjoying the subway all night and all day”). His folksy gouaches are color-coded to match the various subway lines, and his pitchblack backdrops make the colors explode, while alluding to tunnel interiors. An abundance of droll details will delight regular straphangers and stir the imaginations of transportation-obsessed children. “—Publishers Weekly


1.)  Slowly stroll through this book with your child and stop to identify the following:  (Remember WAIT TIME here, try not to answer for your child too quickly.)

*  words that rhyme
*  colors
*  shapes
*  signs
*  letters
*  numbers

2.)  Talk about all different types of transportation:  subway, bus, train, elevated train, light rail, taxicab, automobile, bike, etc.

*  Ask:  What is your favorite form of transportation?  Discuss why, draw, find and cut out pictures, label with simple words using invented spelling, etc.
*  Take some form of public transportation with your child – Talk about why this might be better than driving a car.  Kids absolutely love taking trains and buses.  It’s totally worth taking the time to do this!
*  Collect maps anywhere you can.  Little ones love to explore maps of subways, ski mountains, museums, etc.


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